Atech Flash Pro-57U USB 3.0 True SuperSpeed Internal Flash Memory Card Reader w/ Front USB 3.0 Port for 5.25 Inch Drive Bay
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After buying a USB 3.0 stick, I decided I didn't want to reach around the back. I also was tired of the extra cable lying around my desk for my existing card reader, and the card reader was S-L-O-W at taking data off my 300x CompactFlash card.
I searched around and read the reviews for this, and it was perfect for my needs: USB 3.0 port in the front, and a variety of card slots that would move to my computer panel and leverage the faster bus speed. Wow what a difference! My jump drive went from a max 68MB/s up on the rear slot to 75MB/s up. Down is 120MB/s -- this is the same speed as my SATA II SSD that I hook up to an eSATA port!
What really counted was the VAST improvement in my Lexar CF card. The card went from a pokey 5MB/s off the card reader to a whopping 60MB/s on this unit. I didn't even know the card could go that fast. I take a lot of 14MP images and pulling these off the card is now FAST.
Even nicer is that each data device you plug in gets recognized as a unique drive whereas some card readers only allocate you one active drive letter for only one device no matter how many are plugged in.
I'm very satisfied. My desk is less cluttered and my data transfers faster.
Well, it turns out that placing somewhere around 1000uF of capacitance on the +5V line to the interface chip helps this to be recognized on bootup. Since the surgery described below, it has not failed to enumerate a single time, and the toggle switch for the power has turned out to be unnecessary. If I had this to do over again, I'd probably get a 2200uF/6.3V solid polymer cap from a place like Mouser or DigiKey and just add it to the +5V line (and ground) without doing any other alterations. From the looks of things, that ought to be plenty of capacitance to get this to work with 100% reliability. And for that matter, the extra capacitance may actually improve performance with marginal cards.
Update May 2013
I got so frustrated with this POS that I took it apart and did some corrective surgery. I cut the +5V trace from the USB connector end to the chip and added a front panel mounted toggle switch to control the power to the chip. (I also put bypass caps on the board on both sides of the cut trace) Now, when the computer boots and this POS isn't recognized (as it isn't at least 90% of the time), a quick on-off-on of the new switch cycles power to the chip and the removable drives are instantly recognized. This isn't a solution for everyone, but it does work.
In my opinion, you'd be FAR better off buying the SanDisk USB3 card reader, as long as you don't mind having another gadget sitting around on the desk. As far as internal readers go, please please do yourself a favor and buy one from someone competent.
Update January 2013:
After dealing with this thing for over six months, I'm about ready to throw in the towel.Read more ›
Fit and finish is good, and plugged right into the USB 3 header on my Gigabyte mainboard.
The only thing that took me for a loop was that by the way windows works you get several drive letters (one for each physical slot). There is a free utility if you google for USB Drive Letter Control that will make sure only slots that really have a card in them will get a drive letter. Problem solved.
Speeds amazed me, especially emptying out a 32GB SDXC card to my SSD drive. Works fine on Windows 7 and Windows 8. Also able to boot from any of the slots as a USB boot device from BIOS if you are so inclined, so you could make your own Windows Install SD card, etc. There is a single blue LED that comes on when there is at least a single card in the unit. It is not blinding or annoying, and stays steadily lit, activity makes it flash.
The front panel USB3 port has come in handy and works just as well with USB2 devices such as flash drives. Doesn't seem like it will loosen up on me any time soon. Spend the extra on this one - I think you will be surprised.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Had all sorts of problems with this reader including boot loops and data loss to my cell phone memory card. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Knight.Operator
Atech Flash Pro-57U USB 3.0 True SuperSpeed Internal Flash Memory Card, nothing to say about this card reader except that it is super fast, and after a year still working.Published 19 months ago by J. W. Beene
Runs great. Haven't had any issues with it. Wish it were cheaper though. I've had a couple cheaper card readers stop working reliably, which motivated me to buy this.Published 20 months ago by Arktik Teacher
A plethora of card reader ports and a USB 3.0 port complete with a flashing blue LED, that signifies when the USB 3.0 Port is transferring data.. All components work as advertised. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Brand___X
Connected to ASUS Z87-A motherboard with Win 8.1 64 bit. Unit is plastic but well made. The sockets for the flash cards seem to be more robust than on other units I have seen. Read morePublished 24 months ago by 4estLake
It's what I needed to finish my new computer build. The only thing that I saw was that the package had been opened and the owners manual removed and no drivers disk. Read morePublished on June 29, 2014 by Taskman
This unit installed easily and without drivers. I had to purchase a separate USB3.0 PCI Express card with an internal 20-pin header (available from Orico) to get it working in my... Read morePublished on May 23, 2014 by S. Nelson